Artsy-Fartsy: A Mid-Century Modern-Inspired Holiday Gift Guide

Perfect gifts for the aesthetically-minded people in your life, starting at 99¢!
Publish date:
December 2, 2013
shoppables, jewelry, holiday gifts, art, gift guide, decor, mid-century modern, electronics, holiday wishlists

So, I really love the holidays and basically every aspect that comes with them. This particularly includes holiday gift guides. I just love them! I love seeing curated lists of beautiful objects that someone has carefully picked out. It shows me things I otherwise would have never known about and ups my gift-giving game. I don't just love reading gift guides though, I'm also very much into creating them, so behold! Here we have the first instalment in my collection of gift guides for both xoJane and my other home on the 'net, xoVain.

Keep checking in over the next few weeks to see my very carefully selected options, and be sure to let me know what you're wishing for this holiday season, too.

Now, to kick things off I've got my Artsy-Fartsy gift guide. This is for the people in your life who frequent galleries and have a strong creative side. They've always got beautiful (framed!) prints hanging in their home and aren't afraid to stand out. I went with a mid-century/modern art theme for this list, since my brain is always pretty much stuck in that state of mind.

Under $20

Going clockwise from the top left ... As someone who keeps breaking drinking glasses, these 99-cent ones from IKEA are definitely appealing. Affordable, but they've got a fun, bright design to cheer me up (even a little bit) in the upcoming dreary months. Then there's that paint drip mug, which is a sight any painterly person is used to, but instead of being full of murky, undrinkable water, you can fill this up with coffee.

The Mark Rothko nail decals! I already own these myself and they are super cute and perfect for anybody who loves to combine the worlds of modern art and nail art. Toss them in your gift-recipient's stocking, along with a few rolls of brightly coloured washi tape, which I like to use to stick up postcards.

The 20th Century Art Book is also a steal at less than $10. It's small but thick, chockfull of hundreds of 20th century works and the stories behind them. Great for art historians in the making or so-called "buffs" looking to brush up on a few things.

Finally, I included two calendars - the very modern wooden desk calendar, which wouldn't be out of place on the office sets of Mad Men, and MoMA's paper version for 2014, which features mid-century ads that, once each month ends, can be removed and framed as individual art prints. Both under $20, both extremely stylish. Take both!

Under $75

Going clockwise from the top left ... I really don't think it's ever possible to have enough pouches. Fill 'em with wallet-y stuff (money, cards and i.d.), makeup or pens & pencils, or turn them into a cute but practical first-aid kit. This one, with streaks of bright, paint-like colour should be seen out in the open though, and would make a great night-out clutch for an all-black outfit requiring some excitement. If you're giving this one and you really love your giftee, pop in a tube of NARS' "Schiap" lipstick, a shocking pink shade named for Elsa Schiaparelli, surrealist designer and frequent Dali collaborator.

Lomography always makes the coolest analog cameras, and I think they make great gifts in a world so consumed by instant and digital photography. This primary-coloured model takes exaggerated fisheye shots and y'know what, getting film developed is always so exciting. Who knows if you'll have a double chin in that shot, or if your thumb got in the way?! Hey, that's part of the fun, man.

Now, I've been living in my apartment for just a few days shy of a year now, and I still haven't bought any cushions for my couch. OK, that's a lie -- I have the ugly white inserts that you stick inside of cushion covers, but no actual PRETTY cushions. If I could have any, I'd really like to include this one by Kate Spade's little sister line, Saturday. It's velvet (which is always luxurious) and covered in bright splashes of colour much like that cute clutch up top. I want it on my poor, naked couch. Immediately.

Ha, OK, remember how two paragraphs ago I ragged on the modern world's preoccupation with convenient digital photography? Ah, whatever, ME. This Holga lens for iPhone 4/4s models is super cool, and will make everyone really, really jealous of your Instagram. Is that kind of dorky? Maybe. Oh well.

Next up is that lovely gold brass perfume roller, which comes with a funnel to easily transport your bulky bottled perfumes into the tiny, roll-on vial. As someone who travels a lot, this is incredibly appealing to me, because I'm getting tired of checking my luggage with my Tom Ford perfume wrapped in tissue, bubble wrap, a scarf, and then another scarf. And when I'm not traveling, I know it would look really pretty on my dresser.

Finally, a very pretty gemstone necklace with a sculptural look. I always find the coolest jewelry on Etsy, and I like that this is a "statement necklace" without any of the typical over-the-top rhinestones and neon shades (not that there's anything wrong with that). It's subtle but still says "hi, I have good taste and like nice things."

And The Splurges ...

Going clockwise from the top left ... If money grew on trees, I'd like everything pictured above. But it doesn't! A girl can dream, though, and perhaps someone reading this does in fact have the cash to spare. If they do, I hope they pick those items up for themselves or friends!

Now, I have wanted a bar cart for my apartment since forever. Somewhere to keep my fancy barware and my cookbooks and other odds and ends. The very sleek Restoration Hardware one included above is gorgeous. And while I'll most likely end up turning some sort of kitchen cart from IKEA into the serving caddy of my dreams, the RH one above will continue to stay on my mind ...

I've had my eye on the Kilim shoes for awhile, handmade from antique Turkish rugs. They're unique and stylish but surely comfortable. Plus, no two pairs are the same, so snap 'em up, people, and do your thing.

I realize most people use their phones to find out what time it is, but I'm still all about wearing a watch. I really like this Kate Spade one - the mother of pearl face and the Cartier Tank-esque shape make it classic, whereas the bright green strap and block numbers bring it into the modern age. I'm also a big fan of this model, The Metro, which is good for goths who like to stay on top of fashion.

I may be an adult (all though according to some study I am technically in my "late adolescence") but I still get really giddy over miniatures and dollhouses. This LEGO kit that allows you to build your own version of Le Corbusier's Villa Savoye is not exception, and there's also a kit to recreate Fallingwater! Great for "adults" like me or children who you suspect may grow up to be architects.

As you mayknowby now, I'm kind of obsessed with bees and honey. Which means I've also been obsessed with this honey pot and dipper set for about 2 years now. While owning it will remain a daydream until the day I feel comfortable dropping 90 bucks on a honey storage unit, I can stare and lust in the meantime. So pretty! So sleek!

Ooh, and finally - the limited-edition Stila Artist Signature Set. Styled after a painter's kit, it's loaded with 15 glosses, 12 eye shadows, 4 cheek colours, 8 eyeliners, 3 smudge crayons, 3 pro makeup brushes and an instructional booklet. Essentially, gifting this kit to someone could have them covered for the next year, makeup-wise.

Well friends, this has given me a lot of ideas myself, and I hope you, too. Stay tuned for even more gift guides! For now, I really need to get a start on my shopping ...